Todd Haynes' new film May December starring Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore recently premiered in the ongoing Cannes Film Festival in the main competition.
A director whose filmography spans more than four decades long, Todd Haynes seems to be a filmmaker who likes to dabble in themes that examine either well-renowned personalities especially musicians, or dysfunctional and dystopian societies and blurred gender roles. This avant-garde filmmaker's philosophy is that he is more comfortable depicting the world's problems rather than offering up solutions. And he is also known as a "women's storyteller" as most of his movies are headlined by women and offer them a space they truly deserve. He is a screenwriter, director, and producer whose recent film May December (2023), starring Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore, had a premiere at the Cannes Film Festival under the main competition competing for Palm d'Or.
May December gets you instantly hooked on its interesting premise! When there is a film being made on a married couple who took the nation with their notorious tabloid romance twenty years earlier, the TV actress's arrival to do research about their past for the film puts high pressure on the couple. The film is set in Savannah, Georgia where Natalie Portman, who plays the role of the actress, spends a few days researching a real-life 36-year-old wife and mother, Julianne Moore, who was the rage of tabloids 20 years earlier due to her affair and then her marriage to a 13-year-old boy.
Before May December comes out for everyone to watch, here are some of his films that define him as a filmmaker!
For this film which was also his first feature, Todd was influenced by Jean Genet. He was the patron saint of all queer outlaw art. The film is styled in a sense where three distinct stories are intercut together on the concepts of openly-gay themes Hero, Horror, and Homo.
Velvet Goldmine (1998)
The film is about how investigative reporter Arthur Stuart locates the living legend glam-rock superstar Brian Slade after he faked his own death 10 years earlier and vanished. It looks into his mysterious disappearance from the spotlight.
Far From Home (2002)
Cathy and Frank Whitetaker are the epitome of a suburban family in 1950s Connecticut. But with a marital crisis and mounting racial tensions, Cathy has to deal with choices that could spur gossip within the community and change many lives forever.
Mildred Pierce (2011) - Miniseries
This miniseries is an adaptation of James M. Cian's novel. Where Mildred Pierce, a divorced single mom with a strained relationship with her ambitious elder daughter, Veda decided to open a restaurant business.
Unlikely romantic feelings surface when Carol, a socialite going through a tough divorce meets Therese, who is just starting out in her life in a New York department. They are completely taken by each other and have to decide whether to let go of their heart's desires or go against society's conventions.
This is a story of a midwest young boy constantly contrasting with the story of a New York young girl from 50 years ago where a unique and mysterious connection forms between the two of them as they seek similar things being 50 years apart.
Dark Waters (2019)
It's a film about a corporate attorney who goes on to take a huge environmental lawsuit against a chemical company, and in hindsight exposes a lengthy history of pollution.
The Velvet Underground (2021)
This is the first major documentary that narrates the story of the iconic rock band- the Velvet Underground. it features exclusive interviews with never-seen-before archival footage
What film of his have you watched in the past and absolutely loved? Tell us in the comments below!
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